I am a writer working from my office in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (This website is named after a peak I can see from my window.) My ninth book, The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery, was published last year by Alfred A. Knopf in the United States and The Bodley Head in the UK. I write a monthly column, "Raw Data," for the New York Times.
My books have been translated into Italian, German, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Japanese, Polish, Swedish, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Greek, and Thai with editions forthcoming in Turkish, Romanian, Russian, Bulgarian, and Arabic. Three have been shortlisted for the Royal Society book prize.
Three of my articles for the Times won the AAAS Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and one is included in The Best American Science Writing, edited by James Gleick. I've also written for National Geographic, Slate, Scientific American, Time, Wired, and The Atlantic.
My essay The Books in the Basement is in the collection My Einstein: Essays by Twenty-four of the World's Leading Thinkers on the Man, His Work, and His Legacy. I described some of my thoughts about science writing in Inside the Black Box, which appeared in a different form in The Field Guide to Science Writing.
I am co-founder of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop, and I appear on bloggingheads.tv for a show called Science Faction. A blog I wrote during 2013, Fire in the Mind, is at Discover.com. My observations about Santa Fe politics and other matters are posted in The Santa Fe Review, which includes glimpses of the surroundings through my web cam.
Here are links to my shocking appearance on The Colbert Report and a video of my being pickpocketed by Apollo Robbins at a consciousness conference on the Las Vegas Strip. I wrote about the experience in Sleights of Mind.
What I'm writing.
What I'm reading.
Why I became a science writer.
What I really think about God.
"On the Trail of the Illuminati: A Journalist's Search for The Conspiracy That Rules the World"
The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery. Knopf, August 2013. Vintage paperback, 2014.
The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments. Knopf, 2008. Vintage paperback, 2009.
Miss Leavitt's Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe. James Atlas Books/Norton, 2005. Norton paperback, 2006.
A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer. Knopf, 2003. Vintage paperback, 2004.
Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics. Knopf, 1999. Vintage paperback, 2000.
Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order. Knopf, 1995. Vintage paperback, 1996.
In the Palaces of Memory: How We Build the Worlds Inside Our Heads. Knopf, 1991. Vintage paperback, 1992.
Machinery of the Mind: Inside the New Science of Artificial Intelligence. Times Books, 1986. Tempus / Microsoft paperback, 1987.
Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics. Tarcher/Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
I keep a list of my articles chronologically and by topic. Here are my resume and a biographical sketch (including a picture of my high school garage band and a letter from Richard Nixon). More ancient stuff, like a recording of my discussion with John Horgan about philosophy of science on NPR, is available online as are my Slate dialogues with Matt Ridley on the Human Genome Project and with Robert Wright on quantum computing. An NPR interview about Henrietta Swan Leavitt was broadcast on All Things Considered.
The best way to reach me is by email.